Angry birds, elegant birds, birds dressed in the summer chapeaus, and still others making our mind take flight into thoughtful airs. Such are the things of “For the Birds,” the latest fine art exhibition at Bowersock Gallery.
The show features four, new guest artists: Painters Juleen Stacy, and Gretchen Woodman, Reduction Woodcut printmaker Lyell Castonguay and master carver Chester Jablonski, along with gallery stable artist painter Debbie Kinson.
“We tapped a collection of new artists we’re interested in. It was a coincidence they shared a fascination with birds. It seemed a perfect theme to introduce these outstanding artists,” Curator Steve Bowersock says. “It also happens to make for a particularly varied, and intriguing collection, a broad look at a favorite subject.”
Stacy will exhibit a collection of nests – part representational, part magic – pictured against stark black backgrounds. “It’s a simple subject made mysterious, beautiful, and entreating,” he says.
Woodman, known for her incredibly detailed graphite animals, gets colorful and whimsical for this show.
“Gretchen’s done ‘portraits’ of brightly hued feathered ladies in their Sunday best,” Bowersock says. “It’s about fun and personality with these little characters showing off their plumed chapeaus.”
Castonguay’s birds also show “character,” along with incredible skill.
“Lyell’s work is so evocative, his animals imbued with human emotion,” Bowersock says.”His style is best described as strong – powerful. At first glance, they capture with their incredible skill and beauty. With a lingered look they say something much deeper.”
Chester Jablonski, is a master carver, his focus always birds. His figures are painstakingly worked for a naturalistic look.
“Chester meticulously carves tiny feathers in each of his creations, while successfully making them more than a mere cold model,” Bowersock says. “These are truly works of art, an exploration of the creature within its habitat.”
Kinson, a gallery favorite, is an allegoric painter. Her elegant birds address the subject of freedom and spirituality. Kinson’s moving work is marked by her choice of tonal and/or brilliant hues.
“Debbie has proven to be a patron favorite, and with reason,” Bowersock says. “Her work is visual poetry, her creatures a statement of something larger that binds us, which is why so many are moved by her work.”
The birds are regal, to comical, “a look for everyone.” There are 6″ X 6″ canvases with birds proudly displaying fanciful headdresses, or images of inviting, cloud-like nest, and there’s “Fuji,” an imposing portrait depicting an accusatory stare from an angry bird caught within a 36″ X 24″ frame. Flocks of birds rendered in wood perch on table tops.
“The skill of this diverse group of artists is impressive, but so is the incredible range with so few artists,” Bowersock says. “I’m quite enjoying this exhibit, and can’t wait to share it. I think it’s going to be a patron favorite.”